Disney/Pixar’s ‘Cars’ Series Not Plagiarized, Judge Rules

Court rejects screenwriter’s claims that he came up with the anthropomorphic autos in the mid-’90s

Last Updated: August 2, 2011 @ 12:54 PM

Sounds like Lightning McQueen is more than just a cheap knock-off.

A federal judge has sided with the Walt Disney Company and Pixar, finding that the studios did not steal the ideas for their hit films “Cars” and “Cars 2” from British screenwriter Jake Mandeville-Anthony.

Mandeville-Anthony claimed last spring that he had submitted a script with character art to the studio in the mid-'90s that closely resembled the anthropomorphic autos in the two animated films. At the time, he sought an injunction to prevent the June release of “Cars 2.”

Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank disagreed, dismissing the complaint.

Click here for the full text of the ruling. 

“Plaintiff’s works, Cookie & Co. and Cars/Auto-Excess/Cars Chaos and Defendants' works, CARS, CARS 2, and CARS Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales, are not substantially similarity as a matter of law,” the judge writes.

Judge Fairbank also found that Mandeville-Anthony’s breach of contract claims fall outside of the two-year statute of limitations.  

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.